Alma 13:14


 
“Yea, humble yourselves even as the people in the days of Melchizedek, who was also a high priest after this same order which I have spoken, who also took upon him the high priesthood forever.”
 
We have named a portion of the priesthood after Melchizedek. (It is not, however, the form which Melchizedek held. That is another topic I am not going to address here now. This area is complete mush in the minds of Latter-day Saint writers and commentaries. I can’t straighten that out on this blog.  I might take it up in a book and go through it methodically there.)

What is important is that the great events of Melchizedek’s time began when people humbled themselves and accepted the teachings of this “high priesthood” holder and were, thereby, saved.  Not only saved but also led into a fellowship which eventually turned into a City of Peace, or City of Salem, or Jerusalem, which was taken into heaven.

This prototype was so influential in the thinking of all who followed, that the high priesthood was named after Melchizedek. Even though he held Patriarchal Priesthood with its associated sealing power, he was the one after whom Melchizedek Priesthood was named in the form it was later transmitted which lacked sealing authority.  (Again, another topic.)

What is important in this verse is the connection between the existence of the one holding this authority (Melchizedek), and a humble people who would accept and follow those teachings.  The result of the combination of the two was that God came and dwelt among them.

This is a pattern that followed the previous pattern with Enoch.  This was the pattern Joseph wanted to return through his teaching and ministry. Joseph wasn’t able to accomplish it. We now hope to see it someday occur in the unfolding history of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. The most recent book on this subject, now on sale at Deseret Book (unfortunately a red-flag for me) urges the idea that the only Zion we should expect to see will come when the church president allows or directs it to happen.

This verse suggests what is needed is: 1) humble people willing to accept teaching from a high priest after the ancient order and 2) a person having that authority who will teach.

What does this do to our current accepted model?

If Zion is to return, how will it return? Will it mirror what the Book of Mormon is teaching here?

Is the church president the one who will bring this gathering to pass?

Is the church president teaching doctrine about the fullness which will bring others into the rest of the Lord?

Has the church president brought a company into the Lord’s presence? Attempted to do so? Taught or written about how that will happen?  (If so, can someone point that out to me so I can read the talk, get the book or watch the video.)

How can I know I would actually have followed Melchizedek and become a part of his city by what I do today?  (I’d like to be among them, you see.)

12 Responses to “Alma 13:14

  • Very interesting thought. I can’t help but feel like we stray further and further from the Light as an institution. Everything is so much after the order of Stephen R. Covey and Harvard Business. Don’t get me wrong, I believe that the Quorum of the twelve and first presidency are men of God, even special witnesses. But as a priesthood leader myself, I am so saddened and sickened and feel stifled as I sit in meeting after meeting bored to tears, feeling so malnourished. I see so much meanness and judgment in the church especially in Utah. I do not want to assume all is well in our little Zion. I want to hear the words of such an high priest and become a follower after righteousness. While I feel privileged to have a calling in the church, I can’t help but feel beaten down by it so often. Thanks for a great thought. Currently reading 18 Verses. It’s very thought provoking. Thank you.

  • The key “data point” when talking about Enoch is that “there were no poor among them.” Combine this with Nibley’s talks about “free lunch” and the unmistakable conclusion is that we have to be living the United Order.

  • Hi Denver, referring to your staying on topic post, were you speaking about how you plod along and leave some of the conversations to move forward to where you want to go with something? Just wondering if you’re hoping us commentors to do the same thing, or if you appreciate when someone takes up a tangent and suggests a few thoughts or resources for others who are interested, or if you’d rather they do that somewhere else. For instance, there are some thoughts that Melchizedek was Eber, and not Shem like some think. That Paul wrote his letter to the “Hebrews” meaning Melchizedek Priesthood holders, and hence wrote so much about their protege, Eber, or Melchizedek (probably trying to get them to move beyond the prepartory Melchizedek Priesthood and to emulate the Patriarchal part instead). Also that Eber, Shem’s great-grandson, gathered a people at the time of the confounding of the languages, prayed that their language would be preserved (like the brother of Jared), and he became the official turning point for when the Patriarchal Priesthood phased out of being handed down by lineage and was opened up to others being adopted into it, like Abraham, for instance. Also, that Eber’s wish of the Savior was that this be so and his faith was answered just like Enos’s in your book with his request. Thus it was Melchizedek who came to Peter, James, and John on the Mount as Elias (not John the baptist, because Melchizedek had a translated body with which to confer keys and John didn’t at that point) and also the Elias who committed the gospel of the dispensation of Abraham in the Kirtland temple. So that is semi-related, but still a tangent as you say. Would you prefer that to be my last post of that sort to help keep your blog more focused? I’m tending to think you were just excusing yourself from taking up too many questions from these types of comments, but you don’t mind them.

  • Denver, have you read “The Triumph of Zion” by John Pontius?

    If so, any reactions?

  • The President of the Church is limited as to what he can say & teach because most all the members of the Church have rejected the Gospel & do not want to hear what it takes to be exalted.

    Who would still come to Church if the Prophet really said what needs to be said in order to get everyone to repent?

    It doesn’t seem like Heavenly Father wants to offend the majority, for he can still save the few, for they hear from the Holy Spirit what isn’t said by the Prophet.

  • Question: Which one is the chicken, and which one is the egg?

    The “City of Enoch” [political unit] is to protect (1) life, (2) liberty and (3) property.

    The United Order [conomic system] is the means whereby one acquires an “inheritance”, which is property.

  • DKD re: “The Triumph of Zion”

    Yes. I thought it was OK. It persuades me that I will need to address the topic in a book at some point. There is a great deal of compounded misunderstanding which has plagued the subject. It will take some effort to sort it out. I’m not prepared to attempt that on a blog, however. There is too much to address.

  • Zang Family:

    I think that’s fine when a post provokes related discussions. Adds, even. And I do not have any problem with other ideas which contradict or offer a different explanation. I am just not going to respond. And I am concerned when a “hot-button” current cultural idea takes over and distracts from the topic. What you’ve said, however, is directly on-point and adds to the discussion. I’ve considered and rejected the idea you propose, but that doesn’t mean that others haven’t heard it, or won’t be persuaded by it. It is all good, even worthwhile, when the material is related.

  • AV – I don’t think the prophet should be limited just because some people don’t want to hear something. It takes me back to the comment I’ve heard several times on this blog that if we’re not teaching doctrine, we’re no different then other churches. As for who would come…ah…I would! And I wouldn’t leave half way through. I think many of us are starving for it. We need it! How many more of the rising generations are we going to lose “they did smite in two many of their head-plates, and they did pierce many of their breast-plates, and they did smite off many of their arms…” We need the teachings now!

    I horrifies me to think that the prophet wouldn’t say something because it might offend some of us. The Lord didn’t seem to limit his comments for fear of offending. Why aren’t the fifteen speaking of these things? Is it because we’ve already been offered it and have turned away? How did we get here!?

  • Hi Denver, I though that was the case. Keep plugging away at your focus, I’m enjoying it! The Eber thought came from David B. Cohen’s book on the Adamic language. I still think the jist of the whole idea can work with Shem as Melchizedek as well and he let his people be called Hebrews after his great-grandson. Which part do you reject, the Eber being Melchizedek, or Melchizedek being the Elias on the Mount and at Kirtland, or both? Anyway, no need to answer if you’re plugging away with Alma still, anyone else can comment as well in answer with their thoughts. David B. Cohen strongly suggests he will be the one mighty and strong and be king in Jerusalem prior to the Lord returning, and that in the middle of the night (as a thief in the night) it will be as bright as day until morning next year in September from a star in Orion going supernova, but it will be 22 years before the Lord comes and brings the sign again with the glory of His personage. Crazy people have made similar claims, but he puts his reputation on the line without calling for any following. It will be interesting to see if his predictions are spot on. He gets very specific, but it’s all just from scriptures, not from any visions of his own. I’m not easily won over by kooks, but I’m believing and willing to say its possible.

  • I purchased Dr. Cohen’s book The Adamic Language and Calendar: The True Bible Code before I knew his mother and sister were in my ward. His sister was over visiting my wife and I asked her if Dr. Cohen was the King David he talks about in the book. It’s pretty obvious in the book that he thinks it’s him, but he never comes right out and says it. The sister says yes and he wants to convert the Jews. He just sold his successful eye surgery practice here in St. George so he must be preparing to go over there. We’ll probably have a party on the night he predicts we’ll see Betelgeuse light up the sky.

    Interestingly, I’ve heard that Maitreya (a person claiming to be Christ) has predicted a sight in the sky and may co-opt the supernova as a sign of his power so be careful.

    If the supernova happens or doesn’t happen, my testimony will still be intact.

    As for God not wanting to offend, I just don’t think it’s time yet to “teach plainly” the mysteries and higher things to the body of the church. I don’t have a timeline, but I know it will happen when it’s supposed to. Those who want them can search them out and progress, while others will just sit and think all’s well.

    I see it perhaps like the choosing of Gideon’s army of 300 where there is a test given and we don’t even know it and we are chosen or left out.

  • Thanks, Mursets. I’ve been trying to get an email to David Cohen, but the one on the publishing site no longer works. If can get one for me I’d appreciate it. brian.zang@gmail.com
    I’m with you about whether on not the supernova happens, but I’m convinced David is sincere and I hope he pulls it off. What I like is that none of what he talks about depends upon his genius or him doing something, but it would all depend on something coming from the Lord only to confirm any of it. His whole reputation is on the line. So I should say, I hope the Lord pulls it off the way David said. It’s very appealing, but as always, the Lord can do what He wants. Sounds like a fun idea. Maybe I’ll find a Logan party for the same event.